Lack of time, knowledge or just sloppy thinking?

Lorri Zipperer Lorri at ZPM1.COM
Wed May 1 18:34:17 UTC 2013


From: pb [mailto:mikburger22 at yahoo.com] 
Sent: Wednesday, May 01, 2013 12:27 PM
To: Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine; Lee Tilson
Subject: Re: Lack of time, knowledge or just sloppy thinking?

 



 

I agree our strengths play into our weaknesses.

 

And it is difficult to easily catch the problems which arise from this.

 

However, Ive tried.   I teach medical students and much of the time is 

focused on how to avoid cognitive error.  This involves analysis of 

what type of errors we are prone to making, e.g. hyper focusing or 

being easily distracted, making fundamental errors in logic or 

creating tight logical analysis but overlooking the weak premise.    

 

I also try to incorporate the contributions of those who utilize non linear
"thinking" approaches to clinical problem solving and the care of patients.
(The way our hospitals

are structured, with the resultant high incidence of nosocomial infection,
falls, 

privacy invasion, etc. and phenomenal cost a good example of ignoring those
who excel

at what is considered "non medical thinking").            

 

Perhaps medicine is about to enter a new era where better understanding of 

cogntive processing and the wide spectrum of unique and useful abilities 

not currently being tapped will be brought into practice.

 

Pogo has been right - 

 

Paul

 

 --- On Wed, 5/1/13, Lee Tilson <lee.tilson at GMAIL.COM> wrote:


From: Lee Tilson <lee.tilson at GMAIL.COM>
Subject: Re: Lack of time, knowledge or just sloppy thinking?
To: IMPROVEDX at LIST.IMPROVEDIAGNOSIS.ORG
Date: Wednesday, May 1, 2013, 12:26 PM

I am a newbie here. However, there are some verbal patterns that can be
recognized as well.  

 

Indeed, there are many aspects of these human tendencies, I was trying to
focus on this point.  

 

Our human tendencies   =   Our strengths   =    Our weaknesses

 

The idea that we can make a prescription that will eliminate error or bad
reasoning seems incorrect to me. 

 

 

 

Lee Tilson

 

 

n Wed, May 1, 2013 at 1:07 PM, pb <mikburger22 at yahoo.com
<http://us.mc1200.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=mikburger22@yahoo.com> >
wrote:


  

"Example: The human tendency of "ignoring details" is essential in order to
recognize new patterns in the world."

 

This gets into the area of non verbal intelligence and pattern recogntion.


 

http://www.foundalis.com/res/bps/bpidx.htm

 

The British try to test their medical school applicants for this ability

through a subsection of the UKCAT where applicants have to evaluate shapes
in

two different groups, determining the relevant nature of the visual
relationships 

in each group and how the two groups then differ. 

 

Paul

 

 

 --- On Wed, 5/1/13, Lee Tilson <lee.tilson at GMAIL.COM
<http://us.mc1200.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=lee.tilson@GMAIL.COM> >
wrote:


From: Lee Tilson <lee.tilson at GMAIL.COM
<http://us.mc1200.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=lee.tilson@GMAIL.COM> > 


Subject: Re: Lack of time, knowledge or just sloppy thinking?
To: IMPROVEDX at LIST.IMPROVEDIAGNOSIS.ORG
<http://us.mc1200.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=IMPROVEDX@LIST.IMPROVEDIAGNOS
IS.ORG> 

Date: Wednesday, May 1, 2013, 11:01 AM

The same human tendencies that are strengths are weaknesses.  The same human
tendencies that enable progress also account for mistakes. 

 

If this was not true, then Darwinian evolution would have eliminated those
tendencies. 

 

 

 It also leads to a lot of mistakes. 

 

Is "ignoring details" good or bad? I think it is both, depending on how it
is being used. 

 

In order to recognize new patterns of facts in the world, new categories of
physical processes, new abstract entities, new kinds of diseases, new kinds
of mechanisms, we have to ignore a lot of details.  Our ability to generate
new categories (e.g. physicians look at patterns of patients and invent new
disease concepts)  that we use for analyzing circumstances is essential to
medicine. 

 

How do we generate new categories? To generate a new category requires that
we focus on essential similarities and ignore non-essential details. We look
at a group of similar patients and see patterns. Details that do not fit the
pattern have to be ignored. 

 

Our ability to focus on similarities and ignore some details enables the
creation of new disease concepts. We cannot make progress in medicine
without training ourselves to ignore some details.  

 

This same ability to focus on essential similarities and to ignore some
details can cause mistakes. 

 

My favorite philosopher says that the most interesting thing about logical
fallacies is not that they are wrong, but that they are seductive.
Understanding why and how we are seduced into error is very complicated. 

 

Or, as Walt Kelly used to say in Pogo, "We have met the enemy and he is us."

 

Lee Tilson

  _____  

 








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